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Gracia Ellis

With National 4-H Week right upon them, Madera County 4-H’ers were competing at the Madera District Fair.

“For me,” said Gracia Ellis of Spring Valley 4-H, “this was the best, most successful fair I have had so far. Two weeks prior to the actual fair, I participated in the fair’s horse show where my horse, Bee, and I competed for the first time together. We had our ups and downs, but it was a great experience for both of us.”

At the actual Madera Fair, she exhibited a market hog, registered Southdown sheep and Boer goats.

“Highlights of my fair experience were winning intermediate goat showmanship and intermediate sheep showmanship, which qualified me to participate in master’s showmanship,” she said.

“I showed a total of 18 animals at the fair, which was a huge amount of work to prepare them for the show and manage to get them all to the show ring on time.

“It was definitely worth it as I got outstanding goat exhibitor, outstanding sheep exhibitor and overall outstanding livestock exhibitor for the 2016 Madera District Fair.

“I’m so happy to share my success with you,” she said, “but I also want to share the fact that 4-H isn’t all about the banners and ribbons. It’s about the learning experiences, and the friendships you make. I have met many people and made many friends throughout the state that I would not have known if it weren’t for 4-H.”

The “neat” thing about showing in 4-H, she said, is that you can be rivals and competitors with your friends, but once you’re out of the show ring you are best of friends again.

“4-H offers kids many different activities, and projects to learn from and have experiences that they may have not had otherwise. It also teaches valuable lessons such as hard work, leadership, speaking, and many other skills.

“4-H’s slogan is ‘Learn by Doing’ and that’s exactly what 4-H’ers in our county and around the country are doing. Come join the fun.

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